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Photographer's Note

Andorra la Vella (Andorra the Old) is the capital of the Principality of Andorra (Principat d'Andorra), the largest of the six European microstates, situated between Spain and France in the eastern Pyrenean mountains. On an area of 468 sq km (181 sq mi) a population of 89.000 is mixed with an estimated over ten million visitors annually.

The present state was formed in 1278 and is known as a principality as it is a monarchy headed by two co-princes. One is the Bishop of Urgell - a Roman Catholic diocese in Catalonia, Spain, including Andorra - and the other the count of Foix, whose title over time has been transferred to the President of the French Republic - currently M. François Hollande.

When we stayed overnight in 1976, most of the visitors were day trippers attracted by Andorra's duty-free status. Shops for alcohol, perfume, cigarettes, watches and photo equipment (this was well before the electronic era) lined the main streets Avinguda Meritxell and Avinguda Carlemany, which were crowded with cars arriving from France.

Today the streets are lined with hotels, as Andorra has become a popular tourist resort, based on the attraction of Andorra itself. The climate is continental alpine, which means that there is, on average, more snow in winter, lower humidity, and it’s not so hot in summer. And there are, on average, 300 days of sunshine per year.

At 1.023 m (3'356 ft) above sea level, Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe.

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Scanned from diapositive film at 300 dpi and post-processed in Photoshop CS5.

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Additional Photos by Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 542 W: 241 N: 844] (2422)
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